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Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability

Best Practices Could Help School Districts Reduce Their Food Service Program Costs, Report No. 09-02, January 2009
Full report in PDF format

Best Financial Management Practices Reviews by School Districts
The Best Financial Management Practices

School districts can implement best practice strategies to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of their food service operations. These options include
  • establishing strong management systems that provide a framework for short-term and long-term decision making and help ensure that district food service programs remain in a healthy financial position;
  • reducing food costs by joining cooperatives to receive volume discounts, maximizing use of USDA commodities, and improving food purchasing practices;
  • ensuring that food service employees carry out their functions in an efficient and effective manner, implementing alternative meal counting methods and making program changes that reduce the number of employees needed to prepare meals; and
  • identifying and removing barriers to student participation in breakfast and lunch programs, catering school-related functions, negotiating single-source vending machine contracts, and considering meal price increases.

Which Government Program Summaries contain related information?

Public Schools (K-12 Education)
Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services
Education System

What other OPPAGA-related materials are available?

  • Report No. 09-05 Providing a Free Breakfast to All Public School Students Would Be Costly for Most School Districts, published in February 2009.
  • Report No. 09-04 School Districts’ Food Service Programs Generally Are Not Financially Self-Sufficient,published in February 2009.
  • Report No. 09-03 No Changes Are Necessary to the State’s Organization of School Nutrition Programs, published in January 2009.
  • Report No. 08-67 State Food Safety Programs Should Improve Performance and Financial Self-Sufficiency,published in December 2008.
  • Report No. 04-32 Some School Districts Can Take Steps to Reduce Their Food Service Costs and Ensure Self-Sufficiency,published in May 2004.
  • Report No. 04-26 With Effective Planning, Accountability, and Oversight, School Districts Can Successfully Outsource Services,published in March 2004.
  • Report No. 04-10 School Districts Can Take Steps to Substantially Reduce Their Transportation Costs,published in February 2004.
  • Report No. 03-62 School Districts Can Take Steps to Reduce Facility Operating Costs Through Conservation, Productivity,published in November 2003.

Copies of this report in print or alternate accessible format may be obtained by telephone (850/488-0021), by FAX (850/487-9213), in person, or by mail (OPPAGA Report Production, Claude Pepper Building, Room 312, 111 W. Madison St., Tallahassee, FL 32399-1475).
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